Letter to the Editor

End is near for city unless changes are made

Monday, April 6, 2015

To the editor:

Why is it that the Courier newspaper is silent on the killing of this wonderful city?

This city is on its death bed, and there is not one word prepared to void the death sentence. The city is flat broke and spending money as if there is not one problem facing the city.

What about the lawsuit for back jail fees to the county? Where is that money coming from? What about the million-plus that is owed the state for the failure to pay the sales taxes? Where is that money coming from? Purchasing a new fire engine for several hundred thousands of dollars. Where is that money coming from?

Remember, the editorial about six months ago (an excellent article whereas the city had purchased over $2 million of equipment (mostly cars and trucks that were not needed because the police department has over 10 extra cars that they permit the policemen to take home while off duty and some even located in Manila and Armorel where they live and the city purchases their gasoline to travel from home to work and back). Note: In an audit report read that concerned driving police cars to home and other places, it was an IRS requirement that this extra benefit was considered as salary and had to be reported to the IRS and withholding taxes paid on that expense. Is the city including this expense as a part of the officer's salary and paying IRS withholding taxes on this money?)

What about the extra approximately half-million dollars of the IRS sales tax that was left over beyond the amount owed the IRS? Where did that money disappear to? Is it being used to pay the present IRS taxes in lieu of using the employee's money that was paid by the employee's and using the employee's taxes to spend in any manner desired?

What about the city furnishing fire protection and police protection to BGRAA at no cost? Does the Blytheville Courier Newspaper publisher, general manager and editor think that it is all right to furnish illegally, costly services to BGRAA organization at no cost that is paid by the citizens of Blytheville, which consist of approximately 30 percent of its citizens that can't pay their water bills and probably don't have sufficient food to feed the children of the house hold?

What about the water company selling water to outside customers at a cost that is below the cost for production and selling fire protection services to outside customers including fighting fires outside of the city at a cost below what the citizens of Blytheville pay ( $50 per year)? What do you think about the FBI report on crimes for Blytheville for the year of 2012? Do you think that the police department with their new body cameras, shoulder telephones, new laptops, new cars, etc. are doing their jobs properly with an approximate $3 million budget? (It should be noted that the city population has decreased 2,652 citizens from 2000 through 2010.)

What about the article whereas the park manager stated that he would have the specifications finished by the next council meeting for the park improvements. Is the park manager an engineer? (ACA states that the design of a public facility that cost over $25,000 has to be designed by a registered professional engineer registered in the state of Arkansas.)

This letter is not to be considered as criticism toward the Blytheville Courier newspaper. It is a plea for help so as this city has a life and it appears the city is on its death bed due to the lack of an adequate functioning government for approximately 15 years and it appears to be getting worse of the day. The end is very near unless someone steps forward to protect the poor and innocent.

Ray Clouse